Written by Miki Agrawal
5,000 women (and a few men) gathered in Washington DC yesterday for the United State of Women Summit. President Obama, Michelle Obama, Oprah, Vice President Biden, Warren Buffet, Amy Poehler, Patricia Arquette, Kerry Washington, including mah gurl Sophia Bush among many others were present.
I spoke on a panel with Mikaila Ulmer, that amaaazing 11-year African American girl who started her business selling lemonade to save bees - and now her lemonade is in every Whole Foods. She was articulate, optimistic, has a great business sense and very keen to improve the world - it made me very, very hopeful for the future.
What was so wild to me was how many people in the audience knew what THINX was! It was like people singing my song after I have been singing in the subways making pennies for a decade. ;-)
The number of people who were WEARING THINX was equally insane!
Right before my panel, this one girl came up to me in a very shy way and said, “Um, excuse me, so on my way here, I bled through my tampon and ruined my underwear and now I'm not wearing any underwear (and the President is here)... and I'm freaking out that I’ll leak again." I happened to have one single pair of THINX in her size in my bag and handed them over to her. She exclaimed “This is DIVINE!” and rushed to the bathroom to put them on. THINX-to-the-rescue ~ felt so good!! :-)
My favorite from the day: convo btwn Michelle Obama and Oprah. Both so authentically themselves. Reminded me that no matter how “successful” people get, the most important thing is to remain fully ourselves. I don’t think I know any other way, but a great reminder. One of our core values at THINX is “Let Your Freak Flag Fly.” When I interview people for jobs, I want to see their true inner weirdo come out and the more I get to witness that in the interview, the more likely they’ll be hired :-)
Some of my favorite bits of advice from the day:
- Warren Buffet "The most important thing to do in business is to delight your customer." (For the sake of tradition, thought I'd start with a white man here)
- President Obama: "I may be a little grayer than I was 8 years ago but this is what Feminist looks like." Gawd we’ll miss you Barry O.
- President Obama: "Be deliberate and afraid of nothing."
- Michelle on Barack: "Being president doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are." Love their love.
- Oprah to Michelle: "What can men do to help women?" Michelle: "Be better. Be better fathers. Be better husbands. Don't 'babysit' your own kids and think you're taking one for the team - they're YOUR kids!”
- Michelle: "It's not about what people say about you, it's about what you actually DO (that counts).”
- Oprah: "What will you be most proud of as you leave the White House?" Michelle: "My daughters. Through all of this, we gave them the foundation to be great people. And they are."
- Oprah's final words to Michelle: "As Maya (Angelou) said, you make me proud to spell my name: W-O-M-A-N."
I must also admit that throughout all of these amazing talks, I too was full-on bleeding like a faucet (second day on my period) and here is a video of me washing out the blood from my THINX in the bathroom of the Convention Center (literally nobody cared) - see HOW MUCH BLOOD is coming out of the undies!! Def went WAY over my two full tampons worth!!
I also did a ton of interviews with NowThis, Huffington Post, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Radio, PYPO podcast (founded by one the writers behind Veep), Tumblr - so be on the lookout on any of those outlets!!
All in all, it was an incredible, inspiring, promising, and uplifting day that really got me so pumped for the future (yes, we love "THE FUTURE IS FEMALE" tees, but this made it SO real and so so exciting). Basically, I can't wait for next year!
I really hope you all enjoy this new series. It’s impossible for me or my team to be anyone but ourselves, flaws, ninny-ness and all - so I hope you don’t judge me, enjoy it, learn from it, comment, ask questions that you really want the answers to and I’ll do my best to get to them in each episode/post. 'Till next week!